MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Art From Ashes: Music of Remembrance 

Starting tomorrow, Sunday, January 22 and running through Sunday, January 29, Music of Remembrance (MOR) will present its annual Art From Ashes concert to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 78th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. This year’s concert, streamed free, offers a remastered video of selected works from a special event where MOR’s core ensemble performed on a quartet of historic instruments from the Violins of Hope collection.

That event at Benaroya Hall on March 1, 2020 – just before the pandemic shuttered all stages only days later – mostly features music by composers lost to the Holocaust: David Beigelman’s haunting Dybbuk Dances; string trios composed in the Terezín concentration camp by Gideon Klein and Hans Krása; and a quartet by Erwin Schulhoff. The concert opens with the Aria by Miecyslaw Weinberg, who suffered persecution at both Nazi and Soviet hands.These musical treasures remain as a testament to inspiring courage and resilience in a time of unfathomable horrors. They tell stories that resonate today as strongly as ever.

The Violins of Hope are a unique private collection of string instruments that belonged to Jews who played them before and during the Holocaust. Lovingly restored by Israeli violin makers Amnon and Avshalom Weinstein, they now sing again even though their former owners were silenced. They help keep history alive and connect us to inspiring and intimate human stories. 

Music of Remembrance’s next live concert at Benaroya Hall on March 19, 2023 features mezzo soprano Sasha Cooke in Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s Intonations: Songs from the Violins of Hope, a dramatic song cycle that was inspired by these historic instruments. The songs imagine the stories that the violins would tell about their own odysseys and those of their owners.


Miecyslaw Weinberg
Aria, op. 9 (1942)
Mikhail Shmidt, violin Natasha Bazhanovviolin
Susan Gulkis AssadiviolaWalter Graycello

Hans Krása
Dance (Terezín, 1943)
Mikhail Shmidt, violin Susan Gulkis Assadiviola  Walter Graycello

Gideon Klein
String Trio (Terezín, 1944)
Mikhail Shmidtviolin Susan Gulkis Assadiviola  Walter Graycello

David Beigelman
Dybbuk Dances (Lodz, 1925)
Artur Girsky, violin Natasha Bazhanovviolin

Erwin Schulhoff
Five Pieces for String Quartet (1923)
Mikhail Shmidtviolin Natasha Bazhanovviolin
Susan Gulkis Assadiviola Walter Gray, cello

Filed under: music news, Music of Remembrance


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